Outformation, Traveler’s Rest (Outerprise)

If you can’t tell by the old west images on the front cover, Outformtion is a country rock band that leans heavily on jam band antics. The band features guitarist and vocalist Sam Holt, bassist Grady Upchurch, drummer Lee Schwartz, keyboard player C.R. Gruver, and Jeff “Birddog” Lane on additional percussion. “Carnac” relies on a driving, uptempo guitar riff and light percussion, and “Dark Severinson” asserts a lively atmosphere with a lush piano line until Holt opens with, “Thank you all for coming / it’s a lot of fun,” which gives way to a distorted guitar solo.

Outformation sounds best when tackling county on tracks such as “Winds.” The band conjures up images of drunken saloon nights, with Holt singing, “Why does everything fall all to hell when I’m gone / I seen it all go wrong up at home with a song / Blow your dreams away like the winds of Mexico.” Too often, though, the riffage just isn’t that memorable, and the production leaves the guitar sounding thin. The group seems more focused on the instrumentation, which may be why the vocals don’t have the power that is a necessity in country rock. Traveler’s Rest appeals to the listener’s inner blue-collar worker and feels like the band at your local dive bar, but that maybe that’s what they’re aiming for.